With unseasonably warm weather and a gentle tailwind, the HBS men’s four raced to an 11th place finish in a field of 71 in last week’s Head of the Charles Regatta. With a steady pacing and a stellar course steered by coxwain Stephen “Sly” Ly (NNA) the crew was able to get a good rhythm going and avoid traffic at the bridges. Pockets of HBS supporters were heard yelling encouragement throughout the race including a raucous crowd from OC in front of Baker Beach.
The finish of 17:43 placed them a mere 2.4% behind the winning time, posted by Union Boat Club. Three-seat Mike Linse (OK) was overheard after the race saying, “today was a real turning point for the crew… crushing such powerhouses as Assumption and Franklin Pierce really puts us in a good position for the grad school regatta next spring.” Bow man Rob Alloway (OA) concurred, explaining that “if OA shows up on the river bank next spring in the numbers seen Saturday, we’ll really take a spanner to Wharton.” A delirious Geoff Swift (OA) thought that it could be the first time in his rowing career to finish in front of boats from both Williams and Wesleyan.
Making the row especially sweet was knowing that by finishing within 5% of the winning time, HBS has guaranteed an entry in the event for next year. Elijah White (OC) reports Steve Purdy (NB) has already begun training and is displaying the hallmark Yale tenacity in his daily workouts on the Shad ergs. The next major race for the crew will be the graduate school regatta held on the Charles in mid-April.